Saturday, January 31, 2009


...are a wonderful thing when they're artificial and inserted in little ears!  Savannah did very well with the anesthesia and everything, and Sydney took full advantage of her "practice" sleep over at the grandparents!  (Why "practice" you ask?  Because she had no time to play - a potluck dinner after church, then over to their house for unpacking and sleep.  Followed by sleep, sleep, breakfast and school.  So we called it the "practice" sleep over to "practice" the sleeping part.  My Mother-in-Law's brilliance there.)

Thanks for all your prayers - keep them coming!  Savannah's fingers look better everyday, and she'll get the stitches out next week.  Once we could move to bandaids all was much less dramatic here!  Although, I did sit down in a heap a couple days ago and think, "I need one quiet moment where no one Needs Anything from me (because it's been that week) and then I heard Savannah GET OUT OF HER CRIB!  Then I cried, checked her body (she "fell", mm hm...) and let her play Little People.  And Praise God she's waited for me ever since.  But the days of more mobility are clearly on the horizon.

Now I'm going to bed.  And I'm going to alter the time of this post so that no one knows how late I just stayed up.  :)  Hey, we have a babysitter tomorrow morning, so I only have to be half-awake for that meeting, right?  At least no one's nutrition or safety will be on the line.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The number was six

Six.  Six stitches that is.  Yesterday Savannah took the opportunity of a ring at the door to follow me just long enough so that I would be distracted while she went to the kitchen, got a block of cheddar cheese and a knife (they were out,  but on the other side of the room and required a chair... and she's never tried to get one before...), then took them across the room, up on the chair again, and cut almost all the way through it (exactly half - the long way).  All that in the space of time it took me to say,  "No pizza, a bag of cut corn, broccoli, and three bags of meatballs."  Then I heard the fateful sound of metal, Sydney's words "Savannah has a knife!" and, while already moving, "SHE CUT HERSELF!!!" followed by loud screams and very bloody fingers.  

Praise God Kevin (and our friend Brent) had just arrived home from lunch, so I put Savannah under the sink, told Sydney to "get Daddy now" and then let him take over (so I wouldn't pass out).  Sydney then got Brent to retrieve a bath towel (which she soaked through) while I  packed up a few additional items to the diaper bag, gave quick directions on what to feed Sydney lunch, and paid the Schwan's guy.  Poor guy.  He looked devastated.  As, I'm sure, did we.  Sydney, by the way, was very calm and incredible helpful.  Then she said she was worried about her sister but would pray for her and would be good while we were gone.  I love how she's a gamer.

Praise God we live close to the hospital. 

Praise God we have in-laws who can come over and relieve our friend.

Praise God for the nurses and doctors in the E.R. (they took care of Savannah and me - but I told them, on the floor with my head between my knees was just preventative - if I was going to really pass out I'd warn them first).

And PRAISE GOD that she "managed" to miss her tendons (it appears) and cut the best part of those tiny little fingers (to the bone on one and almost to the bone on the other).  We call that the Mercy of God.

So,  please pray for our little 2.5 year-old.  She already removed the hospital bandages and we had to get them rewrapped at the doctor (they were supposed to stay on until Sat. but, well... I only stayed until she fell asleep last night and jumped in her room at the first sign of wakefulness so that she wouldn't remove that beautiful cocoon dressing...).  We now have the kind of supplies we need to do this at home.  Let's just say that our attempts earlier in the day were completely pitiful, due entirely to our lack of professional laceration-type pads and gauze. But it was pitiful.  

Pray that she keeps this bandage on (as she has so far).  
Pray that she keeps her hand clean and dry.  
Pray that she doesn't scratch what will inevitably be very very itchy fingers.  
Pray that she makes it through outpatient surgery on Monday (tubes for her ears).  The building is next to the E.R. 
And pray that we will continue to care for her and her sister well.  

It's been a full 30+ hours (there were actually other things going on then too) so I'm going to go date my husband now.  The man who talked me out of shaming myself last night by finally saying,  "Anything short of rejoicing and praising the good God in heaven who has spared our daughter any number of worse outcomes, is sin."  Sobering, sure, but accurate.  Cowering in shame and perceived culpability was doing nothing for my heart, and diminished the goodness of God in my own eyes.  The only true response is to worship the God who was overwhelmingly merciful in the whole situation - as He would have still been even if the outcome were different.  I love that man.  We have a "Burn Notice" waiting on the DVR, and I got good bread and cheese.  Bring on the dating.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In one sentence or less...

It's been a busy few weeks. I'd love to update you. I'd love to give you a 2008 recap of events and life. It's still busy. So, I thought a daily, one sentence update might be helpful. But I can't do that; I'm me. Remember the time I started talking and then said, "To make a short story long..." Remember the time I got married, wrote my own vows, and had to use both sides of the page... Remember the time I wrote a sentence a day for my blog but the intro was FOREVER long...? And so, without further ado, my January.

Jan. 5: It is confirmed the children have no more health insurance. I run all over the city to fix it.
Jan. 5: I see a new baby (less than 24 hours old). Her parents will get our children if we die. It's a glorious beauty.
Jan. 5: Follow-up at the pediatrician. Sydney's ears are clear, Savannah gets to see the ENT.

Jan. 6: The girls are both at school. I breathe once and then dive into all that has been left undone. I'm not winning.

Jan. 7: Annual exam. 'Nuff said.

Jan. 8: I spend one precious hour shopping at the outlets. I walk out with no jeans (but a whole lot of shirts!). I realize they've moved up the magnet school applications by a month and now go into "headless chicken" mode. It's not pretty - even with a new shirt.
Jan. 8: Sydney vomits.

Jan. 9: I accomplish nothing on my to do list. Sydney vomits.

Jan. 10: No vomiting.

Jan. 11: No church, but no vomiting. There's hope, people! I meal plan the next two weeks.

Jan. 12: A thousand errands - in my head. Very little completed. Some things picked up in the garage/guest room/laundry room. Company arrives in six days. I think I went grocery shopping. Sydney eats meat successfully. I have a meeting. Our friend Jay watches the girls. Kevin enters his "week of final prep/doctor visits."

Jan. 13: A thousand errands. This time for real. I find jeans that fit, and some nice (inexpensive) sweaters. I decide last week's outburst over my body image was due to exhaustion. I realize I only feel better because I have clothes that fit. I'm grateful for Lee jeans and Jesus - because my heart is fickle and after first washing I'm prone to have lapses in my perceptions - again.

Jan. 14: Dr. Wilson says, "No shots!" We schedule surgery for tubes in Savannah's ears. The girls spend all afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa's house. And in the afternoon for me... school visit. I try not to cry at the slide show - after all, my kid can't even apply for this until 1st grade (she's entering kindergarten '09-'10) and it's all lottery. Never mind that it's one of the best schools in the state (all levels) and PERFECT for my little Sydney. We joke about moving (I think we were joking...). I have no idea I'll be on an hour-long tour after the hour-long presentation. It's an old school, there are lots of stairs. I eat a donut.

Jan. 15: Nine year anniversary! Love you honey! Another magnet school visit. Jay watches the kids - again. He and Sydney make paper necklaces for all Syd's classmates (big hearts on a "U"). They're going to defend the world from the coming evil of Lydia (ala Barbie and the Diamond Castle). I make the first meal I ever made Kevin. It's a success this time. We have our kids and (last-minute) my in-laws with us for dinner (actually they stayed to talk, but didn't eat. We roped 'em in). It's sweet, but the girls are extra loud for some reason. I talk to Syd's teacher about kindergarten options because the application deadline is 4 days before parent-teacher conferences. She's immensely helpful.

Jan. 16: There's a lot of busy something - I probably fell asleep at the wrong time... that day is a complete blur. I bet we watched the goodnight show.

Jan. 17: WE ARE PCA! (I'll fill you in more on that later)

Jan. 18: I abandon my Sabbath entirely and go great guns to get the house (not clean) sleeping ready. I almost forget to make dinner in the slow-cooker. We are late to church, but there. I take things for four people. More seek me out. Our friends arrive toward the end. I feel a little like "errand" girl, but the sermon and time of response were a good respite. I'm looking forward to a couple of great days.

Jan. 19: PLAY TIME!! I feed 13 people - we do a lot of dishes.

Jan. 20: Final goodbyes after lunch, school is cancelled for the inevitable snowstorm - it never arrives. We have a new president. I put new components in my computer and it doesn't blow up - in fact it all works. Merry Christmas to me!!

Jan. 21: That's today. Hmmmm. Mad dash to school. Some down time for Savannah ("I play Little People!"). Costco run. Late pick-up due to choir. Late lunch. Late nap. I fall asleep on my back, legs off the bed, in Sydney's room. She turns out the light but opens the window shade in her closet (to wake me up but save energy). I wake up an hour later, wrapped in her princess fleece. Mad dash to make two dinners. One for my family (mostly leftovers) and one for said friends with new baby. I spend three hours with said friends - holding baby. We have good conversation and good prayer time. I come home to a child in bed, a sleeping husband, and a wide-awake two-year-old. Glad I stopped for that milkshake.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On growing older... and trees

We spend a lot of time at the pediatrician's office. A couple years back the practice changed locations, and though we mourned the loss of the water fountain, the new space is large and updated. It is also substantially closer to the parking lot. Like any habitual visitor, I have found a regular parking space. And because the location is new construction, the landscaping is young and fresh. We've been watching a certain tree grow with every one of our many visits.

Early on, the tree was small and spindly. It was overshadowed by our great hulking masses of wheeled metal, and appeared rather lonely so far removed from the other plants. Soon the wooden stakes were planted on either side - and the small tree was tethered to them - the strong guides for its future growth. Sydney was bothered by this tether for a while - one of those chains wrapped in gentle green plastic coating encircling the thin trunk.

"Is it a snake?"
"No, honey, it's a kind of rope, to keep the tree straight."
"Oh, so it's not a snake?"
"No, dear."

And then her concern grew to curiosity:
"So, why does it need that thing?"
"Because it's not strong enough on its own."
"Oh. What will happen if it comes off."
"The tree will blow over too far and become crooked, or crack."
"So it's helping."
"Can I touch it?"
"Ummm, sure. Why do you ask?"
"I want to feel it - feel the helping."

Little by little the tree has grown larger and fuller, and it now hovers over the cars and minivans, like a watchful friend, welcoming us again. Its leaves are not brimming, nor is it near full grown, but there is something steady and familiar - a kind of permanence to its being.

When I took Sydney for her 5-year-old check-up, she pointed out yet another milestone for our leafed companion - the guide and the stakes had been removed. The tree was strong enough to weather the storm alone. When she asked if it was okay like that, I responded casually that yes, it would be okay. The tree was growing up big and strong. "Just like me!" was all she said, while gently rubbing the smooth, brown bark. And I had to fight back the tears as we walked through the doors to our appointment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You Have To Listen To This

This is one of the best sermons my pastor (and husband) has ever preached. And that's saying something.  

The passage is the ever-familiar "Prodigal Son" story, but within the context of the culture of the Bible days.  But be warned: this is likely to rock your entire thinking on repentance - either theologically or (and) practically.  (Set aside an hour if you want it all at once and some time to digest)

P.S.  If you want more context (or if the above link didn't get you there) go to, click "Audio Sermons" on the right, then either by year or passage.  This was Luke 15:11-24, given on November 16, 2008.  He started chapter 15 on October 9, so there were three other sermons preceding this.  And if you like the story of the first son, feel free to listen to the following week (also worth it) when he tackles the older brother.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Because it's been a while...

Here is a series of pictures from after the preschool Christmas story service:

 Ah, the wonder and majesty!